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Canadian Question


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His gravestone reads

645266 Private

F.D. Aish

54th BN Canadian Inf

9th April 1917

Aged 16

One so young

But following posts I got his attestation papers.

Private Aish signed his papers on the 12 Jan 1916 and on the top says Duke of Connaughts Own 158TH-BN. is this the same as the 54th or was he moved. He also states that he was born in Warrington UK 22 Dec 1897, was the apparent age an estimate by the Officer from just looking at him

It also appears that his name could have been Johnson.

My final question.

Did the Canadian forces go straight to France or did they come via England

Regards

Steve

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Hi Steve,

The National Archives of Canada supplied me with my Great Uncle's service record. He sailed from Canada on 24th April 1916 on RMS Lapland arriving in England on the 5th May. He didn't go to France until 29th June. Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Rich.

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Did the Canadian forces go straight to France or did they come via England

They always came through England, where they would encamp for further training. It was at these camps that drafts would be selected for overseas service.

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Private Aish signed his papers on the 12 Jan 1916 and on the top says Duke of Connaughts Own 158TH-BN. is this the same as the 54th or was he moved?

Steve, Frank joined the 158th who recruited in Vancouver, British Columbia, travelled to England, and was then sent to join the 54th Kootenay Rifles (a B.C. unit), who were a fighting battalion in F&F, as David suggests.

Age is always up for grabs. A man could state any birthdate, and it would be accepted. I'm sure this was true in the British and other Imperial armies.

Frank died the first day of the Battle for Vimy Ridge. 54th Btn was in the Fourth Division, who were sent at Hill 145. Many Canadian casualties occurred here due to strong German resistance and enfilading fire. Hill 145 proved a tough nut to crack. 54th was redesignated as a Central Ontario battalion in August of 1917, due the large number of British Columbia men who had become casualties.

As Horace suggests, you can order his complete service record from the NAC, which will tell you much more.

Peter in Vancouver

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